A temporary injunction against Waste Pro of Florida, the company that serves Quincy, and one of its employees, Joel Thornton, was granted earlier this week by Circuit Judge Sanders Sauls in Wakulla County. The injunction was filed by Emerald Waste Services, which has served parts of Gadsden, Wakulla and Franklin counties for the past 6 months.
According to Dawn Pompey Whitehurst of the Tallahassee law firm of Knowles & Randolph P.A., which represented Emerald Waste Services, the court found that Waste Pro had improperly used the confidential trade secret documents belonging to Emerald Waste Services to gain commercial advantage.
"Somehow they came into possession of Emerald Waste's customer list. The injunction prohibits them from contacting any of Emerald Waste's contract customers in Gadsden, Franklin and Wakulla counties for the next 6 months, unless they do so in writing," Whitehurst said.
The court ordered Waste Pro to turn over "any and all" confidential documents in its possession that belong to Emerald Waste Services.
Whitehurst said Friday afternoon that an injunction was necessary to stop the unfair competitive advantage that Waste Pro had by using Emerald Waste's confidential documents.
"I recognize that we have a free enterprise competitive system, but a company should not be allowed to improperly use inside confidential information of another company to steal away a competitor's customers," said Bart Begley, CEO and president of Emerald Waste Services.
Attempts to reach E. Ralph Mills, regional vice president of Waste Pro, were unsuccessful.